Hands On: Left 4 Dead 2

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Hands On: Left 4 Dead 2

From one Valve fanboy to another: Things are probably going to be OK.

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From what I've seen, it looks pretty good. The addition of melee weapons was a great idea too, I was suprised that they weren't in the first one.

I just hope that this game will 'last' more than a year before another sequel is put out, if they are going to be doing a third in the series.

I'm still concerned.

Valve have put over L4D as "a failed experiment". This is already setting up a Duke Nukem/Peter Molyneux effect for the sequel. (Similar to what happened with Everquest/Everquest 2 [EQ is by far the better game/EQ2 is just prettier])

The idea about the South and the fiddles are bonuses for me. It's just that Valve really works with simplistic ideas in complicated gameplay (See Team Fortress 2)

Now, imagine Team Fortress 2 in a dark gritty environment with buyable weapons and cutscenes. It's really not TF2 anymore, is it?

To those of us scarred by movie tie-ins, sequelitis and post-release patches, it's the timing - more than anything else - that puts us on edge.

Now I can't judge untill I play the game, but it looks like a TF2 match (well not a normal one) rather than a L4D game.

I think Valve just really needed to put some work into the presentation of this, which is odd from a company usually so good at creating positive buzz around a new game I thought they would have spent at least 5 minutes thinking to themselves how the community might react to news of a sequel that had a video attached which was effectively L4D with the same characters/weapons but dressed differently and the same-ish locales but in daylight, the only new thing they really showed were melee weapons and that isn't enough to justify a sequel in many gamers minds.

But I personally cannot think for the life of me why they chose to make it a sequel, now I don't expect Valve to hand this out for free as it seems like they've put a lot of work into it. However with an expansion pack the response would probably have been almost universally positive (if they also showed some of the other stuff they added), because with an expansion pack your player base feels that you're committed to adding new content even if it incurs a $20 cost or some such. With a sequel they feel like you're leaving them in the dust, no matter how many plans you've made to the contrary. And in the end, when you're in a store and you see L4D and L4D2 side by side, you're going to read the back and they will both say: 4 campaigns, versus mode, survival mode, 15+ weapons, lots of zombies and 4 surivors. Which doesn't make a compelling enough difference to make people pay for a sequel.

Valve make it an expansion pack...

I’m pretty sure Ill be avoiding this game, it seriously takes the piss one of the few games I bought full price last year was left 4 dead, I loved it to start with but 4 maps can only keep you entertained for so long.

The promise of lots of free updates and new content kept me hopeful though but it seems they have decided that it would be better business to just sell the extra content as a whole new game, I’m not begrudging them a profit but there is no way I am spending 40 on another 5 maps, just so they can release left 4 dead 3 next year.

Fool me once and all that.

scarbunny:
I’m pretty sure Ill be avoiding this game, it seriously takes the piss one of the few games I bought full price last year was left 4 dead, I loved it to start with but 4 maps can only keep you entertained for so long.

The promise of lots of free updates and new content kept me hopeful though but it seems they have decided that it would be better business to just sell the extra content as a whole new game, I’m not begrudging them a profit but there is no way I am spending 40 on another 5 maps, just so they can release left 4 dead 3 next year.

Fool me once and all that.

I'm a little disheartened at how quickly the sequal is coming out, but lets not pretend the 4 maps for l4d are going to be it when the SDK gets released.
Who knows how long it will take the lfd2 SDK to come out, we do know the valve makes things easy to mod though. During that time all the fans will be mapping for the original. The first one isn't going to lose popularity for a long time, regardless of a sequal being released.

Dys:

scarbunny:
I’m pretty sure Ill be avoiding this game, it seriously takes the piss one of the few games I bought full price last year was left 4 dead, I loved it to start with but 4 maps can only keep you entertained for so long.

The promise of lots of free updates and new content kept me hopeful though but it seems they have decided that it would be better business to just sell the extra content as a whole new game, I’m not begrudging them a profit but there is no way I am spending 40 on another 5 maps, just so they can release left 4 dead 3 next year.

Fool me once and all that.

I'm a little disheartened at how quickly the sequal is coming out, but lets not pretend the 4 maps for l4d are going to be it when the SDK gets released.
Who knows how long it will take the lfd2 SDK to come out, we do know the valve makes things easy to mod though. During that time all the fans will be mapping for the original. The first one isn't going to lose popularity for a long time, regardless of a sequal being released.

Fan maps are great, but why should it be down to fans to create content for a game that didnt have enough to begin with and has been replaced by a sequal with just about enough content for an expansion pack?

Also what about the people with it on the Xbox? they wont be getting the SDK and free fan maps from waht I can tell. They're still waiting for any of the TF2 updates!

Any way Im sure it will all work out in the end, but seen as I am boycotting Steam in general for being a piece of crap it wont bother me too much.

I'm really not too sure what to think of L4D2, whilst I didn't find the original as ground breaking as people made it out to be I am still not looking forward to a sequel that includes all of the aspects that, because of their absence, put me off L4D. I understand that a company that is making DLC is not earning any money from it (well, Valve at least considering that other companies sell it) and therefore need to make sequels but I feel cheated when I paid for a game that was, in reality, half a game or otherwise a test game to see what people liked/disliked and wanted/didn't want.

Despite Valve being loved by the majority of the community I have sat here questioning some of the decisions that they've made over the past few years. For example the omission of the Black Box, I still have my 'gifts' of HL2 and HL2:E1 because I simply cannot get rid of them. I've turned to numerous friends and they simply don't want them, even for free. Anyone who was ever going to play HL2 and E1 has already bought them.

Sounds cool, and i'm sure that it will all turn out well in the end. However I have one issue with this game (two if you count that it's not out for PS3) the Zombie survival guide tells us that incendiary weapons only turn deadly zombies into flaming deadly zombies. Much worse.

Woah... Nerdgasm

Jordan, from your short time playing, do you think this could have simply been done via DLC?

This makes me happy. L4D pushed the wrong buttons for me in a zombie survival game. Limited weapons and unrealistic animations (too fast/MASSIVE clipping) just break it for me. I also didn't find the actual shooting to be all that fun in comparison to... any of their other shooters.

Seeing them flesh out the gameplay/engine and strategic options by adding more and better weapons (my biggest issue) makes me happy and willing to give the game a second chance. As far as the people complaining about wanting extra content, have you really not gotten your money's worth with the original game? Really? Yeah it might suck when you want more, but I'd rather them work on something better if they have a choice.

Also, unrelated to Valve, but where the hell is my Mirror's Edge map pack? Jerks. :(

It could and should have been DLC. But it will do.

*cries in corner with D3 art critics*

*stunned silence*

...

This is actually happening...

What I don't understand is that they can make another Left 4 Dead 2 game in less than a year, yet it takes them more than 2 years for HL2: Ep3, which is more of an expansion, and that doesn't even have an actual release!

Does this make sense to anyone else?

I wonder if MS had something to do with it...

Eagle Est1986:
Jordan, from your short time playing, do you think this could have simply been done via DLC?

From what I've seen, this is a legitimate follow-up with enough new content to warrant an entirely new game. As much as I want to cry "sequel farming," it's definitely not the case here. But it does sort of make you wonder why Left 4 Dead was released in the state it was when the developer could have created a much more polished and feature-complete version with just another year.

It would have been better as a free DLC, but that's just whining because I would love all video games to be free. Realistically, it would have been better as an expansion/add on, or paid DLC. Would have been exactly the same in terms of content they have to make, it just would have had a few players merely a little uneasy, until they then released some free DLC, and then no one would have any right to complain. Considering there track record, I honestly cannot blame them for charging for new content. For a change. And I can't blame them for wanting to tweak and improve the existing game into something better. We should encourage it. L4D 2 is going to be Valves proverbial dropping a pop fly followed by a triple play. Yeah, how they approached this new content could use improvement, but there only human, and you can be quite confident that after a bit of fumbling, there going to release something great. Ive yet to see a reason why I should not think this.

Jordan Deam:

Eagle Est1986:
Jordan, from your short time playing, do you think this could have simply been done via DLC?

From what I've seen, this is a legitimate follow-up with enough new content to warrant an entirely new game. As much as I want to cry "sequel farming," it's definitely not the case here. But it does sort of make you wonder why Left 4 Dead was released in the state it was when the developer could have created a much more polished and feature-complete version with just another year.

Word has it that they released it because they were short on funding. But this is Valve we're talking about here, surely they, of all people, couldn't be short on cash? Maybe I'm just naive.

Skrapt:
15+ weapons

Left 4 Dead has more than 15 weapons?
I count 9, unless you include the "whacking" feature of the individual guns as a separate weapon.

Vanguard_Ex:

Jordan Deam:

Eagle Est1986:
Jordan, from your short time playing, do you think this could have simply been done via DLC?

From what I've seen, this is a legitimate follow-up with enough new content to warrant an entirely new game. As much as I want to cry "sequel farming," it's definitely not the case here. But it does sort of make you wonder why Left 4 Dead was released in the state it was when the developer could have created a much more polished and feature-complete version with just another year.

Word has it that they released it because they were short on funding. But this is Valve we're talking about here, surely they, of all people, couldn't be short on cash? Maybe I'm just naive.

I can't imagine that's the case. Valve makes good money with Steam. Not only do they keep the retailer's cut on their titles, but they must be making a small amount off all the other titles as well. With the exception of MMO developers, few have that kind of constant stream of cash flowing in.

Skrapt:
But I personally cannot think for the life of me why they chose to make it a sequel, now I don't expect Valve to hand this out for free as it seems like they've put a lot of work into it. However with an expansion pack the response would probably have been almost universally positive (if they also showed some of the other stuff they added), because with an expansion pack your player base feels that you're committed to adding new content even if it incurs a $20 cost or some such. With a sequel they feel like you're leaving them in the dust, no matter how many plans you've made to the contrary. And in the end, when you're in a store and you see L4D and L4D2 side by side, you're going to read the back and they will both say: 4 campaigns, versus mode, survival mode, 15+ weapons, lots of zombies and 4 surivors. Which doesn't make a compelling enough difference to make people pay for a sequel.

What the heck store do you go to that keeps a game on the new-release shelf for a year?

Maybe it's because I've studied some AI programming, but what interests me most about L4D2 isn't what you see on the video at all, it's what they've said about the newly improved Director. Being able to intelligently adjust the weather while you're playing based on your performance? That's a huge overhaul right there. Hell, most games don't even have weather.. L4D1 certainly doesn't. A game that not only does but thinks about it? That's a lot more than a simple DLC... and add on to this that the Director can also alter the maps? That's huge. Well beyond expansion level on its own.. and L4D2 promises both.

To me, it seems part of the problem is that the biggest changes in the game sound like they're "under the hood" so to speak, and most players simply don't understand what that entails or in how many ways it can break a program not designed for it.

I am holding to the belief that we are in for many pleasant surprises come when we can play the game. I am looking forward to a smarter AI Director to continue trying to kick my ass, as well as whacking a few zombies with a frypan, and maybe even trying to take down the tank with one. (Silly I know, but what the hell? Just picturing it is enough for a grin: tank is beating down one survivor, with two others shooting at it, and the fourth on top whaling with a frypan.)
I guess it was only inevitable that there would be a desire to bring more out on the survivors. That's all right, a well made character always adds to the story. What set Left 4 Dead apart for me is it made for potential for fps/rpg, where you can make any of the four characters your own, make up their own stories. (I for one see Zoe having a crush on Francis, and anybody having different ideas, please share!)
Either case, I am eager to see this game, even with its sudden outbreak (get it?) this winter. It is a fun game, and getting something more like this so soon will keep me fresh on it for a long time.

I really don't see what the big deal is... They are a bunch of very talented game designers, yes, they are a company out to make money! But, as for releasing this title within such a short time of the last, big deal... I think the work they do is worth the next $50 bucks I WILL pay for L4D2.

Now that the minor fanboy crap is out of the way... I am little concerned about how they will go about making the story more compelling. It is Valve and they are pretty good with story telling; Personally, I liked how the lack of a told story gave this sense of mystery and made killing the horde a cold, run-for-your-life killing spree... Could go horribly or wonderfully. Only November will tell.

scarbunny:
I’m pretty sure Ill be avoiding this game, it seriously takes the piss one of the few games I bought full price last year was left 4 dead, I loved it to start with but 4 maps can only keep you entertained for so long.

You paid full price for Left 4 Dead? Wow, you got ripped off. Most places sold it for around 20. I got it for 20, which is a fair price.

Anyway I want Left 4 Dead 2 a lot. There's a lot of new stuff actually, despite it being brought out so quickly.

I'm annoyed by this in many ways.

I won't go over it all.

What I will go over is how terrible (can't emphasis this word enough) the new characters are. I don't care about how they look. I care about their personalities. They ALL have repulsive personalities. That's generally fine. Francis, my favorite character, has a repulsive personality. The problem is that there was charm to be had there. I.E. he was SO REPULSIVE (I hate stairs) that he was no longer repulsive.

At first I though I'd like the Redneck guy... but oh god the accent is too much. On top of that, he's an idiot. Not the "Hyuk hyuk!" kind of idiot, but more like the "WHIT END AF DIS 'ERE GUNN DIS I POINT?!"

When I heard him speak, I realized I had nothing in common with any of these characters.

It'll be the same four-five hours of boring, repetative gameplay. I can't describe how glad I was that I didn't buy the game.

This will have to be an absolutely astounding piece of win to not be resented by gamers everywhere.

Bunnymarn:
I just hope that this game will 'last' more than a year before another sequel is put out, if they are going to be doing a third in the series.

Considering how much they emphasized the number four with the last game, there's probably going to be four games.

I saw an image of the new characters, ironically three of the four new characters are black. It's ironic to me because it's based in the south. Or is it just me?

I'm going to miss Francis and how he hates everything...

I'm just praying that powerups, melee weapons, and the like don't turn it into "generic FPS fragfest... feat. zombies."
I'm not that difficult to impress, but once I lose faith in something it is hard to gain it back, and so far I am having nightmares about black Zoey (whatever the new person's name is) running around with a chainsaw attached to an assault rifle.

Left 4 Dead is minimalistic in a lot of ways, and I appreciated that. Fewer bells and whistles allowed for more focus on actual strategy, and the way in which the world and characters were presented allowed for us to become attached to them with very little influence.
For over-the-top, varied deaths, we have Dead Rising (and a sequel, which will also include multiplayer). We don't need Francis defeating a tank with a teddy bear (though he would manage to do it in the most badass manner possible).

While I'm here, I just have to point out that the "Game of the Year" edition is being released the same year as the sequel. I don't know if they don't have faith in the franchise, I think they are just trying to milk it for all it's worth, and fast.

Jordan Deam:

Eagle Est1986:
Jordan, from your short time playing, do you think this could have simply been done via DLC?

From what I've seen, this is a legitimate follow-up with enough new content to warrant an entirely new game. As much as I want to cry "sequel farming," it's definitely not the case here. But it does sort of make you wonder why Left 4 Dead was released in the state it was when the developer could have created a much more polished and feature-complete version with just another year.

Hmmmm... thanks Jordan, I think you've put a few of my doubts to rest. I should really just trust Valve, they've never let me down before. I just I'm just a little annoyed that I've only just picked this game up, on the bright side, at least I didn't pay extra for the GOTY edition.

Fuck yes, melee weapons! It'll be like Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later for sure. =D

Wait for the modding community to release a reskin of l4d 2 characters in the current game.

Also maybe prempt valve and release melee, new enemies and daytime maps. Lets face it, this is not a true sequel, this is an expensive DLC.

ANTI-SANTA:

Bunnymarn:
I just hope that this game will 'last' more than a year before another sequel is put out, if they are going to be doing a third in the series.

Considering how much they emphasized the number four with the last game, there's probably going to be four games.

Four!?

Well, they better be spaced apart...

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